Left Liberals in National Politics, 1907–1912

Alastair P. Thompson

in Left Liberals, the State, and Popular Politics in Wilhelmine Germany

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780198205432
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676635 | DOI:
Left Liberals in National Politics, 1907–1912

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How did the government and left liberals, after more than two decades of dispute focused on ‘national’ issues, come to be fighting a nationalistic Reichstag election campaign on the same side in December 1906? And what did the resultant ‘Bülow Bloc’, the uneasy collection of Conservatives, anti-Semites, National Liberals, and left liberals called upon to provide a government majority, mean both for the course of German politics in general, and left liberal integrity and influence in particular? The Bloc brought a new emphasis to relations between government, public, press, and political parties. The 1909 finance reform has long been recognized as a significant event in Wilhelmine history. It was the first time a Chancellor, Bernhard von Bülow, had been forced to resign as a result of a parliamentary vote. The finance reform was also a major ingredient in the SPD's dramatic rise from forty-three to 110 seats in the Reichstag elections of January 1912.

Keywords: Reichstag; elections; left liberals; politics; Bülow Bloc; SPD; political parties; press; finance reform; Bernhard von Bülow

Chapter.  17144 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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